Trump Organization seeks government aid for UK, Ireland golf resorts

Donald Trump’s golf course in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, pictured in September, 2019.

Michal Wachucik | Getty Images

The Trump Organization has reportedly asked Britain and Ireland’s governments for assistance in weathering the coronavirus crisis.

The company, currently headed by the president’s sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., is seeking state aid to help cover wages at its golf resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland, and the Scottish counties of Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire.

All the hotels are closed in compliance with government-enforced lockdown measures.

Eric Trump confirmed in a statement to USA Today that the Trump Organization was looking to local governments for help.

“Like millions of businesses around the globe, we have been forced by government mandate to temporarily close our hospitality and leisure facilities, and are doing all that we can to retain and support our highly valued staff,” he said.

“The job retention plan created by the U.K. government has nothing to do with the Trump Organization, and does not benefit the business — it is solely about protecting people and their families who would otherwise be out of work.”

Spokespersons for the Trump Organization and Trump International were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Managers at two of the Trump golf courses in Ireland and Scotland told Bloomberg this week that they had applied for help from government schemes.

Trump and his family have been barred from seeking relief from the $2 trillion U.S. stimulus package signed into law last month.

In the U.S., furloughed workers technically remain employees at a company until it decides to reopen — but while they might maintain some benefits like medical insurance, they will not continue to be paid. Instead, furloughed workers are eligible for unemployment benefits, which vary by state.

Companies in the U.K. and Ireland are able to claim government aid to help cover payroll.

In the U.K., the government is paying 80% of furloughed workers’ income up to a maximum of £2,500 ($3,086) a month. The Irish government is covering up to 85% of furloughed employees’ pay.

While unable to tap into U.S. coronavirus assistance measures, the Trump Organization has reportedly been in touch with Deutsche Bank about the possibility of postponing payments on some of its loans from the bank, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced many of its hotels to close.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that a Trump-owned hotel in Washington, D.C., was asking the U.S. government for a break on its rent payments.

The organization has reportedly invested millions of dollars into his Scottish golf resorts, but they have been a point of tension among some locals and environmental groups.

In 2018, thousands of residents submitted formal objections to the Trump Organization’s plans to construct hundreds of private homes near the Trump golf course in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire.

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